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Hi Ho! Hi Ho! Is it off to court I go? (Landlord raises stink re. new dish)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by Lord Vader, Sep 1, 2007.

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  1. Sep 1, 2007 #1 of 120
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    I live in a pretty decent apt. complex and will have been here 9 years this September. I've also been a good tenant who has always gotten along fairly well with the office staff--an office, by the way, that is located directly across the parking lot from my balcony.

    Ten days ago I had my Phase III 3-lnb dish replaced with the Slimline 5-lnb dish when my HR20-700s were installed. Due to line of sight considerations resulting from the dish's wider size, the installer relocated it from one side of my balcony to the opposite side and attached it to the wooden support beam that runs from the ground, through my balcony on the second floor, through the balcony on the third floor, and to the roof. (The other side of the balcony is attached to the building's side or wall.)

    As everyone knows, the Slimline 5-lnb dishes are quite larger--wider, mainly--than the 3-lnb dishes. Because of their size and weight, they usually are installed with a support arm to anchor them.

    Well, today my apt. complex manager calls me and tells me that I have to remove the dish and put it on a pole in a bucket. She also goes on to tell me it's "too big" and is likely to fall and hurt someone in a big wind storm because of its size (never mind the fact that its support arm makes it much more secure than the 3-lnb dish was) and that it cannot be put on the wooden beam because that is not, as I explained to her, my "exclusive use"; rather, it's part of the building and their property. I reiterated to her that the FCC doesn't see it that way. I had the FCC fact sheet in front of me and explained to her that (a) my dish was within the 3-meter limit, and (b) my balcony, including the part of the wooden beam that is on my balcony, is my exclusive use area because it is not accessible to the public or a general part of the building as a whole (like the roof or side of the building itself would be).

    So she proceeds to tell me that if I don't comply with her demands, she will have no choice but to sue to get me to remove it. In addition, she hints that they won't agree to renew my lease when it comes due next April.

    I'm not worried about the first part, but I wonder if they really can refuse a lease renewal on such grounds.

    Here's hoping she ends up calming down.
     
  2. Sep 1, 2007 #2 of 120
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    The FCC ruling is pretty clear. Your landlord really has no legal basis to sue you. Hopefully she will calm down.
     
  3. Sep 1, 2007 #3 of 120
    falken

    falken Legend

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    Is she wants to proceed to court, file an FCC complaint agianst her also. If they don't want to renew your lease ask her to ask her laywer if it is really a good idea to take adverse action agianst you because you filed a valid complaint with a goverment agency because of a violation of the law.....

    He isn't going to think its a very good idea, considering you told her to ask. :)
     
  4. Sep 1, 2007 #4 of 120
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    I'm sure I'll hear more from her next week after the holiday. I printed the relevant FCC regs fact sheet and highlighted the parts that refer specifically to my dish size and its location on my balcony.
     
  5. Sep 2, 2007 #5 of 120
    Dwrecked

    Dwrecked AllStar

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    She may win, due to the clause regarding damage to property. When you had it mounted to the post, damage was done, although minor (presuming typical lag bolts were used). If you had put it on a pole, you would have been within your legal rights and she couldn't touch you. If you can mount it on a pole and not have any line of sight issues I would do that. You may need to get creative, but you can have a solid mount with a pole even on a balcony.
     
  6. Sep 2, 2007 #6 of 120
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    There was no damage done to either side of the balcony, and if you're talking about the holes needed to drill, then that doesn't count as "damage." If it did, then EVERY dish installation would result in this. It was never the FCC's intention to essentially require every installation be a pole-in-the-bucket type, which is what your post basically implies.
     
  7. Sep 2, 2007 #7 of 120
    carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    The holes needed to drill most certainly can count as "damage". The landlord has absolutely every right to specify no holes, which results in tenants having to sometimes be very creative. That also includes getting the coax into the unit. No holes is a legitimate landlord stipulation.

    If you have not already done so, and are seriously considering either taking your landlord to court, or defending yourself against your landlord if he/she takes you to court, please contact an attorney who has knowledge and experience with landlord/tenant law in your local area. No one else can offer valid advice.

    Carl
     
  8. Sep 2, 2007 #8 of 120
    fwlogue

    fwlogue Godfather

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    Actually hate to tell you this beam that supports all three decks and ties to the roof can and most likely will besucessfully argued that it is a main part of the main building and you will be forced to remove it pay damages and most likely be evicted.
     
  9. Sep 2, 2007 #9 of 120
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    Give me a break. Just how do you think the FCC believes people are going to attach dishes without drilling holes. Again, your logic means that the only way one can install a dish is via a pole and bucket. That's NOT how the FCC sees it.
     
  10. Sep 2, 2007 #10 of 120
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    If it's under my "exclusive use," which it obviously is, then your argument holds no water. Every part of the building, in essense, can then be argued as part of the whole and unable to have anything attached.

    I've looked at cases involving renters, including a federal appellate court ruling, and those seem to support my contention.
     
  11. Sep 2, 2007 #11 of 120
    armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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    Don't shoot the messenger here. They are tying to prepare you for landlords argument.
     
  12. Sep 2, 2007 #12 of 120
    RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    I'd dig out your copy of your lease if you already haven't. There should be a section in there covering "damages". Maybe even a section for dishes.

    If your landlord want's to get that nitpicky about a few bolt holes, then who knows what else they will throw a fit about when your lease is up.

    Either way, it sounds like they have a bug up their backsides. I'd start looking for a different place to live just in case. I don't think they'd go so far as eviction, but, I wouldn't count on your lease getting renewed when its up either.

    Good luck.
     
  13. Sep 2, 2007 #13 of 120
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    I've already looked at my lease. I won the first argument when I put up a dish in 1998 when I moved in, and again when I changed it to the Phase III three-lnb dish a few years later. Her main contentions now are that (a) it's too big--it's not, per the FCC; and (b) it's on their sole property--it's not; it's on an area exclusive to my use.

    I'll know more later when she returns from the holiday break. I left her with copies of the FCC fact sheet and other pertinent information.
     
  14. Sep 2, 2007 #14 of 120
    Bricktop

    Bricktop Cool Member

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    If she only knew the power of the Dark Side!
     
  15. Sep 2, 2007 #15 of 120
    fwlogue

    fwlogue Godfather

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    Yes but by your own statements it goes to three seperate units this makes it no longer for your exclusive use. It is for the use of multiple units.
     
  16. Sep 2, 2007 #16 of 120
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Her case is weaker if you're mounting the new dish the same way the old dishes were mounted. The mounting bolts on a 5-LNB dish don't cause any more "damage" than the old dishes caused.
     
  17. Sep 2, 2007 #17 of 120
    Sirshagg

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    You are forgetting that government rule and regulations don't always make sense.
     
  18. Sep 2, 2007 #18 of 120
    fwlogue

    fwlogue Godfather

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    If you look at this statement in the FCC RULES yu will see that any drilling can be denied "The rule applies to antenna users who live in a multiple dwelling unit building, such as a condominium or apartment building, if the antenna user has an exclusive use area in which to install the antenna. "Exclusive use" means an area of the property that only you, and persons you permit, may enter and use to the exclusion of other residents. For example, your condominium or apartment may include a balcony, terrace, deck or patio that only you can use, and the rule applies to these areas. The rule does not apply to common areas, such as the roof, the hallways, the walkways or the exterior walls of a condominium or apartment building. Restrictions on antennas installed in these common areas are not covered by the Commission's rule. For example, the rule would not apply to restrictions that prevent drilling through the exterior wall of a condominium or rental unit and thus restrictions may prohibit installation that requires such drilling" The beam that you mounted to dish to will be argued as beeing part of the wall and there fore they can restrict your use of it.
     
  19. Sep 2, 2007 #19 of 120
    Sharkie_Fan

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    Actually.... if the landlord requires "no drilling", then that's exactly how the FCC sees it. The rules are intended to be "fair" to both parties, not the be all end all argument for all renters for all of time...

    The FCC rules prohibit a landlord from outright disallowing a dish/antenna. However, they can set rules and regulations with regards to the antenna - so long as they do not supercede the FCC rules.... This includes where you can place the dish and how you can mount it... If the landlord says it has to be a pole in a bucket, then there you have it...

    Of course, there are ways around the "no drilling" requirement. When I lived in an apartment years ago, I found some U shaped mounting bolts and used them to attach the dish to one of the vertical beams on my railing. Because it was attached AROUND the beam instead of directly INTO the beam, I was within my rights, as the balcony was my exclusive use. The dish was within the balcony space and so was no safety risk, etc. etc... I'm not sure the same setup could be used today with the bigger dishes, but, the landlord can create rules that require you to get very creative in your quest to mount a dish...

    Of course, on the flip side.... if other dishes in the complex are mounted to the beam or to the walls, and your previous dish was mounted in said fashion... then by their previous inaction, there would appear to be precedence to keep the new dish.... As you already know, it falls within the limits of the FCC rules, and so they can't exclude the dish without a good reason (there's a thread elsewhere in the forums of another HOA disallowing the new 5lnb dishes.. though in that case, people were mounting the dish to the fascia on the end of the house, and the mounting bracket for the new dish is larger than the previous brackets, and the HOA felt it an unsafe mounting condition... in such instances, the HOA can, in fact, disallow the dish...)
     
  20. Sep 2, 2007 #20 of 120
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    I took another look at the beam on which the dish is mounted. The beam does not, contrary to what I originally thought, go through all three floors as one continuous beam; rather, the first floor beam ends at the corner of my balcony's floor. My balcony rests on top of that beam, then a second beam rises from my balcony's floor and goes up to support the third floor balcony bottom. The third floor balcony has a beam of its own that goes from its floor to the roof. Regardless, the second beam on which my dish is mounted is accessible and usable by me and me alone--exclusivity would seem to be obvious and apparent.

    Here's a case from 2001 that made it way to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, considered the second highest court in the land because if usually deals with federal rules and regs. I don't know if SCOTUS was ever asked to grant writ on appeal in this case. I don't think it ever got any further.

    Court Backs Renters in Satellite-Dish Case

    Washington— A federal appeals court here has ruled that property renters have a right to install direct-broadcast satellite dishes in locations under their control, even if such action is prohibited by a lease agreement with the landlord.

    The July 6 verdict — handed down by a panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — was a victory for the Federal Communications Commission, DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp. over real-estate owners who sought to control renters' ability to use their balconies and patios as dish-installation sites.

    "The FCC clearly acted in the public interest and within its authority when it extended [dish] rules to apply to renters," said James Ashurst, spokesman for the Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association, the DBS trade lobby. "We are very pleased with the court's decision to protect current and future satellite subscribers."

    In 1996, Congress ordered the FCC to draft rules that would eliminate restrictions on DBS dish installation. The agency moved first against zoning and homeowner restrictions, and then took on landlord-imposed limits on renters.

    A group of landlords, including the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA), claimed the FCC did not have the authority to void lease agreements regulating DBS-dish placements. The building owners also said the commission's protections for renters ran afoul of Fifth Amendment prohibition of the taking of private property for public use without just compensation. The court, however, rejected both arguments.

    In an opinion written by Circuit Judge Judith W. Rogers, the court said Congress authorized the FCC to ban "restrictions that impair a viewer's ability to receive" DBS programming. Rogers added that the commission did not abuse its authority by including both owners and renters within the scope of the words "restrictions" and "viewer."

    "Congress demonstrated no intent to qualify the terms 'viewer' and 'restrictions,' " Rogers wrote. "It did not specify which types of 'viewers' were covered, nor which types of 'restrictions' were permissible.

    "Had Congress intended to qualify those terms, it clearly would have done so," Rogers said, adding that the intent of the law was to give the FCC "a very broad mandate."

    On the taking-of-property issue, Rogers said the landlords failed to demonstrate that a renter was an "interloper with a government license." Rather, she said, a renter has an agreement to occupy space over which the landlord had yielded control, and the FCC had Congressional authority to alter the terms of the lease agreement.

    "Having ceded such possession of the property to a tenant, a landlord thereby submits to the [FCC's] rightful regulation of a term of that occupation," Rogers said.

    The FCC's power to void a DBS lease restriction without violating the Fifth Amendment was akin to government regulations that impose rent controls on landlords or require them "to accept tenants [they do] not like," Rogers added.
     
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